Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday placed the entire country under complete lockdown for next 21 days to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, where it has claimed 11 lives* and infected 562 people** so far. A full ban is being imposed on people from stepping out of their homes, PM Modi said. "All the States in the country, all the Union Territories, each district, each municipality, each village, each locality is being put under lockdown. This is like a curfew only," he said. Experiences from other countries and experts opinion has proved that the only effective way to deal with the coronavirus pandemic is social distancing, he said. The COVID-19 pandemic has so far claimed over 18,000 lives and has infected over 420,00 people worldwide. Essential services to continue Following the speech, the Home Ministry said all commercial and private establishments will be shut down, except for essential services including medicines, food, ration, media, e-commerce delivery, internet and telecom, among others. The Home Ministry said district authorities should "encourage and facilitate" home delivery to minimise the movement of individuals outside their homes. https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/1242476408896507910 Services which are allowed to operate include: Essential services, including shops (including ration stores under PDS), food, groceries, dairy and milk, meat and fish, animal fodder Banks, insurance offices, ATMs Print and electronic media Telecom, internet, broadcasting and cable, and IT-enabled essential services, with work-from-home as far as possible Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment via e-commerce Petrol pumps, LPG, gas retail…
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